The Munsell Colour Wheel and Colour System


We have had many requests to create a Munsell Wheel from the Michael Harding Oil Range, so we reached out to our wonderful ambassador Vicki Norman, known for her educational workshops and MH Colour demonstrations.

 Vicki accepted the challenge and created the wheel above using a single tube of colour from Michael Harding‘s range for each segment. Please note, it is not possible to produce a perfect wheel in this way because using only a single tube of colour for each segment of the wheel restricts the precise hue Vicki was able to produce, so alongside the selected paints listed below, you will find extra information on how to obtain the ideal Munsell hues (If needed).


‘Yellow’ – Yellow Lake because it’s a bright unbiased yellow, neither green-ish nor orange-ish, it sits squarely in the yellow section of the wheel and has a high saturation level, Cadmium Yellow would also fit this position on the wheel perfectly well and I think this is a really good match for a Munsell yellow.

‘Yellow Red’ – Cadmium Orange and I don’t think there’s anything else in the range that would give such a pure, vivid orange, I considered Permanent Orange but dismissed it because it’s too pinkish.

‘Red’ – Scarlett Lake because it offers a good unbiased red, it is rich and deep leaning neither towards orange nor purple. Cadmium Red would do a similar job and the new Pyrrole Red probably would also be suitable for this position on the wheel.

‘Red Purple’ – Magenta for its high saturation and purple-ish hue. Quinacridone Rose could also be used in this place though it would have a slightly less blue bias.

‘Purple’ – Amethyst because it’s a good rich strong hi saturation purple. Though it comes in a single tube it is a combination of two pigments.

‘Blue Purple’ – Deep Purple although it to truly match the Munsell colour wheel it needs to be more blue biased – for a true Munsell ‘Blue Purple’ mix a little Ultramarine blue with it to alter the hue slightly.

‘Blue’ – Cobalt Blue but with an added touch of Phthalocyanine Blue make a neutral unbiased blue.

‘Blue Green’ – Caribbean Turquoise which again is a mixture of two pigments though it comes in a single tube. You could substitute Cobalt Teal Blue Shade here or perhaps even Cobalt Turquoise.

‘Green’ – ‘Pthalo Green Yellow Shade’ (additional notes below)

‘Yellow Green’ – Bright Green Lake (additional notes below)

To be accurate – A mixture of Bright Green Lake and Phthalo Green Yellow Shade would be ideal for the ‘Green’ and for ‘Yellow Green’ incorporate a little Yellow Lake into the Bright Green Lake to create a mixture for a more accurate ‘Yellow Green’.

With the exception of Scarlet Lake and Cadmium Orange , you may wish to add a speck of your chosen White to all of the colours because their deep transparent richness makes them look too dark if left undiluted. *Titanium White will make them all appear slightly more blue than they look in their pure state.